Tom Ingram did no harm to his 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title credentials last weekend at Silverstone when he scored two podium finishes including victory.
For the second season in a row, the Speedworks Motorsport driver will head to the BTCC finale at Brands Hatch as a title contender. For 2018 he’ll be battling season long rival Colin Turkington and dark horse Tom Chilton.
Arriving at Silverstone forty-three points behind Turkington, Tom knew he had his work cut out in order to hack away at this deficit. Luckily, the Sunday went smoothly and he did all he could considering the circumstances.
Race one was started from nineteenth after an incredibly close qualifying where he started right behind the BMW of Turkington.
Opting to get his stint with the unfavourable hard tyre out of the way in the first race and with 66kg of ballast onboard his Toyota Avensis, Tom drove hard to gain the final championship point available in fifteenth.
However, it was race two where Tom convinced the fans and pundits that he’s still not out of this title battle yet. With no ballast and competitive rubber, he worked his way to just outside of the top ten in the first lap.
By mid-distance he had already worked his way past Sam Tordoff in first and he started setting fastest laps to get maximum points from the second race.
This was Tom’s ninth career BTCC victory and possibly his most important. However, it did mean he had to start the final race with maximum ballast.
Starting from seventh due to the reverse grid draw, Tom worked his heavy Avensis through the drivers ahead of him to take third place behind Jack Goff in second and Aiden Moffat in first.
As Goff pitted to serve a drive-through penalty, Tom was promoted to second and begun the chase of Moffat. Following a safety car intervention, the battle for the lead added a new driver in the form of Turkington so Tom had to both attack and defend.
This is how they’d finish when the flag fell, another strong haul of points was Tom’s reward for a great drive despite the ballast disadvantage.
With sixty-seven points up for grabs at Brands Hatch, Tom is slightly closer to Turkington in the battle for the championship at just thirty-four points being the defecit.
Tom also extended his lead in the independent drivers standings therefore he looks set to regain that title.
Tom’s aims and goals were hit at Silverstone. He commented,
“I was aiming pre-weekend to get to within 35 points, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. Silverstone was such an important event for us.
“we went there knowing we needed to claw back some ground, and I think we got everything out of it that we possibly could.
“I was targeting the top five in race two, but when I achieved that, my engineer Spencer came over the radio to say, ‘you’ve still got another 17 laps’, which was when I knew it was on. The Avensis felt incredible; the Speedworks lads always put together such an amazing car and it’s an absolute rocket ship when we take the weight out
“even on the last lap, I was barely six hundredths-of-a-second off my fastest lap outright. It’s very rare that you get to drive a car that is totally perfect, and I enjoyed every single moment.
“Colin is the hunted. The pressure is on him, not us and he’s sitting on two strikes, so he can’t afford to take any major risks whereas we can throw caution to the wind a bit more.
“I don’t think anybody has ever come from 34 points down ahead of the final weekend to win the title before – but we want to be the first!”